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Memorial mass in France for heroic officer and other victims of shooting

26 March 2018

The attacker, whose rampage began when he shot at a group of police joggers and also shot the occupants of a auto he stole, killed three people and injured 16 others on Friday, according to a government readout. The bishop of the nearby medieval city of Carcassonne, Alain Planet, is leading Sunday's mass at the Saint-Etienne-de-Trebes church in the town of Trebes.

A statement Friday by CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, said the incident "reawakens in us the fear and pain that we felt on January 9, 2015", when an Islamist holed up with automatic weapons inside the HyperCacher supermarket in Paris and killed four Jews before police broke in and shot him to death.

Friday's assault was the first deadly Islamist attack in France since last October, when a man stabbed two young women to death in the port city of Marseille before soldiers killed him.

After the mass, which had an overflow crowd listening through loudspeakers outside, pensioner Emile Acco said: "I am very sad". All of France is unhappy.

In a now eerie statement, he told the paper: "We want to be as close to real conditions as possible".

President Emmanuel Macron led tributes to an officer who "displayed exceptional calm in the heat of the moment".

"Lieutenant Colonel Arnaud Beltrame has left us". "People spontaneously approach patrolling gendarmes to express their sympathy".

General Richard Lizurey, chief of staff of France's gendarmes, on Sunday addressed the region's force, of which Beltrame was the third in command.

A Facebook photo of Arnaud Beltrame, who received the highest order in France for his services in 2012When did he get married? "His example must inspire us in our everyday duty", Lizurey told reporters afterward.

Lakdim, 25, a petty criminal, was on a watchlist, but authorities had concluded that he did not pose a threat.

He had also been shot during the attack but these wounds were not fatal, the source said.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump denounced Friday's attack in France in a message on Twitter Saturday.

"We have to stop being naive".

"We have lost someone who was liked by everybody", Rofes said. He shot at riot police, one of whom was injured, then headed to the supermarket in Trebes.

Police were still holding two people as part of the investigation - a woman connected to Lakdim and a 17-year-old male said to be one of his friends, the judicial source said.

He also shot and wounded a police officer out jogging.

Some of the hostages managed to leave the supermarket before the police arrived. Lakdim opened fire on the officer, who suffered serious wounds.

Beltrame died of his wounds early Saturday, becoming the fourth victim in the shooting spree.

Lakdim fit a familiar profile as a petty criminal who had turned to extremism.

Despite this, Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said there was "no warning sign" that Lakdim would carry out an attack. He spent a month in jail in 2016.

Lakdim also gunned down a customer at the butcher's counter: 65-year-old Herve Sosna, a retired builder.

During the resulting stand-off with police, Lakdim demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam - the only surviving member of the Islamic State cell that attacked Paris in 2015.

IS claimed Friday's attack was in response to its call to target Western enemies, as is customary when the assailant has pledged allegiance to the jihadists.

Memorial mass in France for heroic officer and other victims of shooting